- Actors: Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter
- Directors: Mark Robson
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 12
- Studio: Odeon Entertainment Ltd
- DVD Release Date: 25 Oct. 2010
- Run Time: 71 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0040Y4IDW
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,124 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Mary (Kim Hunter) travels to New York to discover the reason for her sister Jacqueline s sudden disappearance. The cosmetics shop that Jacqueline (Jean Brooks) owned has been sold and her rented room is empty, save for a solitary chair and a noose. Suspecting that her sister is under the influence of Satanists, Mary hires a private detective to stakeout the shop at night, but she then discovers that he has been murdered. Dr Louis Judd (Tom Conway) contacts Mary to explain that he is a psychiatrist and that Jacqueline is under his care because she is mentally ill. But when Jacqueline vanishes again, it becomes clear to Mary that she in the clutches of a satanic cult whose penalty for revealing anything about themselves is death. Six people have already been murdered...will Jacqueline become the seventh victim?
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Top Customer Reviews
Easily one of the most downbeat and depressing thrillers to come out of Hollywood's Golden Age, The Seventh Victim was a typically doom-laden effort from producer Val Lewton, whose run of horror movies made at RKO in the early 1940s also included the better known Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and The Leopard Man. However, even in the company of these dour mood pieces, The Seventh Victim stands out as particularly dark. The directorial debut of former editor Mark Robson, and the result of some painstaking research into a real-life coven by screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen, the movie was one of Lewton's few flops, solely due to the central theme; in the wartime US, nobody wanted to see such a humourless film based around unpleasant subject matter like mental illness and Devil-worship. When watched today, the film is still quite hard going; without the explicitly supernatural elements that marked his earlier hits, the `shapes and shadows' Lewton technique becomes even more terrifying, with one or two set-pieces in particular that are genuine shockers, whilst the fatalistic ending is guaranteed to leave viewers reeling.
There are some problems with the film, mainly related to its choppy pace; apparently slashed from around 90 minutes to just 71 minutes before it was released, the removal of so much footage was due the studio's desire to make it fit the usual B-movie format, but this left several characters' motivations unclear, and audiences somewhat confused. However, even in its surviving form, the film is worth seeing; many critics call it Lewton's masterpiece.
The performances are all pretty low key, something that fits in with the films understated feel, with Tom Conway appearing as apparently shady psychiatrist Dr Judd, though like much in the film all is not as it appears. Conway, George Saunders real life brother, always brings something unique to his performances and it's a shame he didn't do more. His performance in this, the Cat people and as The Falcon in the RKO film series are always interesting to watch and full of nice, underplayed character work.
Not one for people expecting fast paced, action packed horror, but for fans of Lewton and slowly constructed psychological menace something of a gem that occupys a hinterland between horror and film noir, a shady no mans land that makes it fairly unique and is in my opinion one of Lewtons best works. Don't expect any extra's on the DVD but the transfer is fine enough. Best enjoyed on a winters evening with the lights out.
When she is told her older sister Jacqueline has vanished, Mary Gibson is forced to leave her private school and travel to New York City to hopefully find her. Obtaining help from her sister's husband, Gregory, and the suspicious help of psychiatrist, Dr. Louis Judd, Mary finds that the deeper she goes the more dangerous the situation becomes, it appears that Jacqueline has got herself involved with something very sinister indeed.
He calleth all his children by their name.
Coming as it does from producer Val Lewton, one shouldn't be surprised that The Seventh Victim is a hauntingly poetic creeper of a movie, no shocks or out and out horror here, just a genuine sense of dread and a pervading sense of doom. When delving a bit further into the making of the picture it becomes apparent that an original cut of the piece was considerably longer, this explains a lot to me as the film, as good as it is in its 71 minute form, is not fully formed and at times not the easiest to fully understand. It would seem that although originally intended as a longer mainstream picture, a difference of opinion between Lewton and the studio (thought to be about the hiring of first time director Mark Robson) meant it was cut to a B movie standard.
What remains, though, isn't at all bad, in fact it's unique. Robson's direction (obviously guided by Lewton) is perfectly sedate and in keeping with the mood of the piece, and between them they have conjured up some most unforgettable scenes and imagery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Schoolgirl Kim Hunter (Mary) is called to the office of the Headmistress Ottola Nesmith and told that she can no longer stay on as a pupil as her sister Jean Brooks (Jacqueline)... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Alex da Silva
This is definitely one of the darkest and most unsettling horror films ever made.
From a talented and versatile director, a horror like no others. Read more
I discovered this film through Cat People - Tom Conway is playing the same character. It's a thoroughly modern story very well told - missing persons, cults, devil worshipping (?). Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2014 by John M
A groping, somewhat tedious film, with very little susbtance, that aims to chill and disturb. I can think of better ways of doing it, but then I'll not deny some will find this... Read morePublished on 1 April 2014 by Asio flammeus